Sony AF 70-400mm F4-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens review by icameisaw

reviewer#44274 date: May-2-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-300mm f4.5-5.6
Sony 70-300mm f4.5-5.6 G
Minolta 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
Sony 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
price paid:£600 s/h
positive:Very very sharp, goes out to 400mm.

SSM focusing is quiet.

Available for significantly less s/h than the II version.
negative:Big, very heavy, stands out.

Focussing isn't particularly quick when hunting.

Colour is noticeably cooler than other my Sony and Minolta lenses.
comment:In terms of sharpness, it craps all over the 75-300mms. But for about five times the cost of the 55-300mm, it's certainly not five times better. (Perhaps twice as good.)

That, plus the way that I can't use it handheld without resting for more than a few seconds - certainly not at the long end where any wobbles are magnified - meant that it went back to the vendor.

I'd also have had to conceal it because the colour means that there's no way you can get away with saying 'That one? I've had it for aaages...' to a partner.

If I had a FF camera and wanted to spend ages in a hide with a tripod getting shots of faraway birds, it might have been worth it. But I don't, so it wasn't...

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 129
  • sharpness: 4.87
  • color: 4.90
  • build: 4.56
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.84
  • overall: 4.80 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania